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Brownback ducking Utah vote

His is the only prominent name missing after ballot deadline

Utah Republicans won't be able to vote for U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback in the state's Feb. 5, 2008, presidential primary election because he failed to file the necessary paperwork by Monday's deadline.

Brownback's was the only prominent name missing from the list of 18 Republican and Democratic candidates released by Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert's office after Monday's 5 p.m. filing deadline.

"No Brownback — I don't know why. We've talked to them a few times," said Joe Demma, Herbert's chief of staff, adding that the ballot is now final. A call to the Kansas senator's campaign headquarters in Topeka, Kan., was not immediately returned.

Utah Republican Party Chairman Stan Lockhart said the party, which had approval over the list of GOP candidates, would have welcomed Brownback's participation in the primary but never heard from his campaign.

"Maybe he's taking it one state at a time," Lockhart said.

Brownback doesn't appear to have much support in Utah, a solidly Republican state where many party voters back another GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, a Mormon and former leader of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

No one in a recent Deseret Morning News poll said they would vote for Brownback in the GOP primary, but an overwhelming 65 percent of those surveyed who plan to vote supported Romney.

Demma said some candidates were caught off guard by Monday's deadline in Utah, the earliest in the nation. He said Sen. Joe Biden's campaign was scrambling earlier in the day to find someone to turn in the Delaware Democrat's paperwork.

Biden made the list of Democrats, along with New York's Sen. Hillary Clinton, Connecticut's Sen. Christopher Dodd, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska, Ohio's Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Illinois' Sen. Barack Obama, New Mexico's Gov. Bill Richardson and a virtual unknown, Frank Lynch, a self-described "futurist" from Florida.

The Republicans on the ballot are former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, Arizona's Sen. John McCain, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, Romney, Colorado's Rep. Tom Tancredo, former Tennessee senator and actor Fred Thompson and repeat candidate Alan Keyes.

Candidates were required to pay a $500 fee and either submit their declaration of candidacy in person or through a designated agent. Utah Senate President John Valentine, R-Orem, attracted media attention for Romney's filing last month by serving as his designated agent.

Edwards, his party's 2004 vice-presidential nominee, was the first candidate to file for a spot on the Utah ballot, followed by Romney and then Clinton.

"We're excited about it," Demma said of the number of candidates seeking to participate in the election. "We were a little nervous, because until a week ago, we only had three people on the ballot."